Friday, April 06, 2012

London to Shut Down Trafalgar Square Fountains

London's iconic Trafalgar Square fountains will be switched off over the summer to comply with the strict hosepipe ban. Thames Water ordered the supply be cut last night as part of a blanket restriction, which includes ornamental fountains, designed to conserve drought-hit reservoirs.

The Greater London Authority said the current water stocks feeding the fountains will run out over the weekend. Negotiations are underway to see if a compromise can be found in time for the arrival of millions of tourists to Trafalgar Square during the Olympics and Jubilee summer.

The on hosepipes for 20 million people in the drought-hit South and East of the country came into force yesterday. Water firms say the ban is likely to last until the autumn if not into next year, even if there is normal rainfall during the summer. This March saw just 37% of the long-term average rainfall in all of England and Wales, according to the Met Office. This is just a little above last year which was the driest March on record, while February saw just 46% of the average. Two dry winters have left reservoirs and aquifers very low.

Public fountains, including London's Trafalgar Square, which was set to be a centerpiece of the Olympics after a £200,000 refit, will be turned off this weekend when their current supplies run out.

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